Years ago when Mark was studying at Georgetown under the brilliant Dr. Murray Feshbach, I first learned of the conditions of the Russian orphanage system. A story on 60 Minutes stuck in my heart and mind that featured Murray who spoke about Russian demographics and orphanages. When Mark and I began planning a trip to Russia in 2003, I knew I wanted to do...something. I began researching on the internet and found Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund - ROOF.
After a couple of hours of devouring their website, I discovered that their US office was located in Racine, WI. We were living in Madison, WI at the time and I just about fell out of my chair. It seemed Divine Providence that we would find them and get involved. We had our first experience raising funds from friends and family to help support the work of ROOF at Podol'sk Orphanage. We were in contact with Karen and Peter Jansson (parents to Georgia) and met with them to turn over the money raised from our generous friends, co-workers, and family. It was enough to support programming in Podol'sk for 3 months.
Though we have remained supportive of ROOF through the years, it is Mark and I who have most benefited from our relationship. Our lives have been forever changed and inspired by the staff, volunteers and the orphans we've met. During a research trip to Russia, Mark lived with the family that co-founded ROOF and we remain in touch with Andrew and Georgia.
I could go on and on, but their website has a wealth of information, including a brand new brochure called Russia's Forgotten Children. I strongly encourage you to check out their website and brochure. Click the image below for the brochure or visit http://www.roofnet.org/forgotten
embedded video from our trips to ROOF in Moscow below. if you do not see the video, refresh the page or click HERE